Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Innovative and cool design, comfortable, more stable than Monarch Butterfly.
Cons: Expensive, takes longer to set up.
Best Uses: Camping, backpacking.
The Flex Lite is a great little chair. It's like the Alite Mantis but is half the price, sits higher off the ground, and is a little less durable. Both chairs use a similar design: they have tent-pole-like frames and you sit suspended in the middle. This chair is unique and is surprisingly comfortable for its size. It's small enough and light enough to take backpacking with you as well, making it very versatile.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
This chair uses a suspension system to allow your body to sink into a naturally comfortable position. It has ventilation throughout the back so that you can breathe on hot days, but the downside is that your back feels totally exposed on cold windy nights. The back of this chair is at the perfect angle so that you can either sit up straight or you can lie back comfortably. If you're really tall, it might be a little less comfortable because it can sometimes cut into your back if you lie back at a bad angle.
This chair says it can support up to 250 lbs, but we did not find it that burly. It broke on us after a couple months when the bottom right corner ripped off. The stitching just popped out of the mesh that it was sewn into. The Alite Mantis doesn't have this problem because of the reinforced stitching and because the corners are nylon and not the mesh that this chair uses.
Ease of Use
This chair requires more assembly than most camping chairs - it's like assembling a mini tent. Once you get the hang of it, it takes about 30 seconds. The same goes for putting it away. We found that the best way is to fold it in half and then roll the frame up into it. REI could have easily made the bag bigger, which would make it easier at times. This chair can be a pain when all you want is just to sit down and relax. In times like those some people don't want to take the time to set up a tent-like chair. This chair is not as stable as the other camp chairs we tested, which means that you have to be a little more conscious of where you are sitting so that you don't fall over.
This is the lightest chair we tested, weighing 1.2 lbs. It is also really compact, which makes it great for backpacking or for having in your car for general use. This chair will always be able to fit into your car, no matter how full it might be.
This chair has no storage; it is a bare bones chair. However, it sits close enough to the ground so that you can just put your things down. Sometimes it's hard to find a flat spot for your drink, so a cup holder can be nice at times. If you feel you really enjoy having a chair with storage, then check out our Editors' Choice award-winning Coleman Oversize Quad with Cooler.
— Devin Chance
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: November 26, 2012
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